An open letter to CNN by Nogami Takeshi

You have probably heard about CNN recently stirring up gratuitous controversy over Rapelay, an issue that should have died down almost a year ago. It is not difficult to imagine that lobby groups within Japan are using Western media to put pressure on Japanese elected officials on related issues. And it might be working: at any rate, that CNN report is getting quite a bit of attention on the Japanese Internet (though not yet on mainstream media). CNN is also getting many hits for that piece of quality reporting, to the point that reporter Kyung Lah got to put up an even finer follow-up article yesterday: a cultural-essentialist explanation of why Japan is so perverted. And there were a couple of silly CNN blog posts on the subject in between, to boot.

Nogami Takeshi, a Japanese mangaka known for such works as Koutetsu no shoujo-tachi (art, Shounen Ace), Serafuku to juusensha (Champion Red Ichigo) or various artworks for the Strike Witches franchise, has written an open letter to CNN in reaction to the latest report. He asked if someone could translate it. I am pleased to oblige. Note that I may not agree with all arguments made in this letter, and I don't really think it's likely to gain many supporters for our viewpoint, but it's an entertaining read.


Dear CNN reporter,

I am an author of manga [Japanese comic books]. I started out drawing hentai manga. I put out hentai books. Of course, I also draw manga that aren't hentai. Nowadays, most of my work consists of non-hentai manga.

I have seen your news report that tries to stir up fear, prejudice and misunderstanding. I have no connection with the spiffy hentai game featured in your report, I am sorry to say; however as an author of Japanese hentai manga, I think I am well qualified to object to the views you present.

As this objection had to be put together promptly, precise data will be presented later, but it is a fact that in this 21st century, we Japanese enjoy one of the most safe and peaceful societies on Earth. Naturally, that is not to say that our society is without problems, but to be honest, I frankly do not think that you are the ones to tell us.

Men and women are equals in politics and in the law. Your society and ours are no different there. Moreover, the crime rate statistics for both general crime and sex crime in Japan are, with all due respect, several times lower than in the United States. Did you, for instance, fear for your safety while walking the streets of Akihabara, or Ikebukuro (holy ground of hentai books for women)? They're probably many times safer than the streets of New York, let alone those of the suburban housing districts around. (And guns are illegal, too.) Furthermore, in our Akihabara and Ikebukuro, there is no persecution of men or women alike, or of sexual minorities like homosexuals. We all live together in peace, expressing ourselves freely.

It also goes without saying that human trafficking and violence against women are serious crimes in Japan too. As a Japanese citizen, I am deeply offended by the insulting implications of that so-called expert who associates Japanese people at large with heinous criminals.

Is hentai detrimental to the upbringing of children? Yes, it some circumstances it may well be the case. It certainly true, for instance, of that game you reported about. I am an average citizen with a younger sister and two nephews; I can relate to your concerns. And precisely as such, I beg to differ with your argument.

Those products are developed for rational adults. You surely don't believe that a rational adult would be influenced by such a game into committing rape, do you? Of course, in Japan, both that game you reported about and the hentai manga I draw are only distributed and sold under strict age restrictions to adults.

That your children might obtain such materials on the Internet is a trouble for us as well. Those are pirated copies. We would be grateful if you could let families and schools issue proper warnings to children. And would it be too much to ask that appropriate age restrictions are put in place in stores in your country so that the rational adults can buy legitimate copies?

By the way, in the proud Japanese traditional popular art of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints from the Edo period), there were many works with sexual subjects, called shunga. You did like these too, didn't you? Well, we are their successors. We make works of art. Let me say that again. It is just art. I assume that you are capable of distinguishing fiction from reality like we do. Are you not?

Obscenity? Ah well, on that point, I would rather quote from the book beside your bed.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

(John 8:1–11)

I am afraid I am Buddhist, not Christian, but I respect your Lord nonetheless. His word that you, me and all mankind are hentai is pregnant with meaning. Yet, there is a difference between “His” views (that you share) and mine. I do not think that people being hentai is a sin. There is nothing wrong with rational people being hentai.

I, at any rate, do not see anything wrong with that. Do you?

Sincerely,

Takeshi Nogami.

172 comments for ‘An open letter to CNN by Nogami Takeshi’.

lol WUT?

but yeah, the CNN article you posted just tries to conflate nationalism with one tiny subculture. zomg, how could the Great America let goatse or 2girls1cup exist in the Public Imagination?

Brilliant! I loved this blog.. I like the bible verse as well.. even though he is not Christian

Thank you for your translation.
I use this on my blog.

thanks!!

You're right, it's not likely to do much at all.

But it's great that you did it. Your Japanese is clearly superb, and I believe you used your knowledge for a good cause. Cheers.

I heard this was back in the news :| I haven't bothered to sit through the piece that was aired on CNN, but from the reactions I've seen, it sounds like it did a good job of abusing sweeping generalizations.

And sadly, it seems to have worked. After this topic was brought up on forums I frequent, someone had this to say on the matter:

"hentai is all about young looking girls and rape, tentacle or otherwise"

I facepalmed so hard I think I gave myself a concussion

I'd like to counter yours argument.
I'm Japanese woman.
I'd write Japanese better than English .
But We are hold a discussion here.
I will refrain from writing to your site.

At first,I think that Japanese low sexual crime rate is only numerically.
It goes without saying that Japan is safely.
However I've heard many Japanese women run into a molester in a crowded train.
Otherwise We couldn't make "women-only train car".
Japanese sexual crime isn't offending behavior without accusation.
(Shinkoku -zai in Japanese)
I feel not a little discrimination against women in Japan.
(I feel it especially on the Internet!)
Fortunately,it is reflected in laws,now.

However I question the relevance of this report reported that adult video game can lead to sexual crimes .
Adult video had not effect on Serial Kidnapping Murders of Little Girls in 1989
That image was created by the media!

This game may save many people rather than people causing crimes.
Because they can look girl's nude without crime,without hurting others.

Forgive my English.
I wish you the best of luck with everything as a yours fan.
I look forward to "The witches of the Sphinx "!

I agree with the rest of your comment, Nanashi-San.

But I object on one point: It is also the case that with these anti-woman discrimination laws like the "women-only" trains and others passed in Japan recently are somewhat discriminatory towards men. There is a little bit of injustice in there usually being a lot more space in "women-only" cars, and it happens there are no "men-only" cars to compensate. Did you know men also get groped, though presumably less frequently? But they could of course not report that, it is not really socially acceptable for a man to do so...

Worse though, a lot of false molestation charges many have now been raised in the wake of all these administrative issues and laws passed in Japan which protect men were also already very hurtful to those men affected. We know that for a fact due to police investigation work that discovered in many cases charges were false. However, there were also those that remained unresolved. In the absence of either proof or disproof, men still suffer inconveniences by being taken in for questioning, and suspicions in the workplace and in their social environment, while the women obviously get away with no harm at all. It is like a witch hunt. And unlike being groped, it does actually frequently destroy the livelyhood and future of working men - it is the greater of evils...

Having lived in Japan many decades now I have to take issue with everything you've said.

The only reason Japan has lower "rates" of sex crimes is that being a victim of sex crime in Japan is both incredibly shameful AND often the subject of claims, like yours, that the accuser is lying.

Japanese police have a 98% conviction rate, compared with approximately 40% in most western nations - are they incredibly efficient and never arrest someone who isnt guilty, or are they corrupt and the system incredibly biased to simply ensure every charged person is found guilty regardless of the evidence? You decide.

Sexism in Japan is vastly, incredibly worse than in any western nation. Senior men in offices are openly contemptuous of female workers, there are very very few powerful women.

@lelangir: I'd love to watch a report by The Onion explaining why Japanese eroge are the epitome of human depravity whereas goatse and the like are a token of American enlightenment :p

@Nogami-sensei: you are most welcome!

@2DT: nope, my Japanese is definitely not that good (I mean, even my coworkers say “Oh your Japanese is very good” and continue the conversation in English orz).

@Nazarielle: the word hentai, in particular, didn't really need the extra publicity. Ah, well...

@Nanashi-san: I understand that your comment is directed at Nogami-sensei and I don't mean to intrude, but let me still make a few remarks.

Regarding crime statistics (especially sex crime), people often suggest that they cannot be trusted due to under-reporting in Japan. There is some truth to that statement, but the differences are simply too large for that to be the sole factor. Incidence of rape, for example, is about 30 times higher in the US than in Japan, and the difference is even larger for other violent crimes (homicide, armed robbery, etc.). Moreover, even with raising awareness of sex crime especially among women, and greater willingness to report abuse (to the point that there have been cases of chikan-related enzai!), the general tendency in Japan is towards even lower crime rates.

Of course, crime, including sex crime, does exist. But it's a solid fact that things are better here than in most other countries. Even chikan koui isn't a purely Japanese phenomenon. There were apparently 909 cases of reported sexual or violent assaults on the London underground in 2008 alone, and they still didn't put women-only cars in place.

The gender equality issue is a different matter. Of course, men and women have equal rights, but it does seem to me that the effective gap between sexes is wider here in Japan than in Europe and the US (especially large liberal cities in Europe and the US; if you take rural areas into account it may not be so clear), and it's not entirely men's fault either (a disproportionate amount of Japanese young women consider becoming housewives). But I think what Nogami-sensei was saying is that this gap is relatively insignificant in otaku seichi such as Akihabara and Otome road. In those places, we can enjoy equal opportunity entertainment: there are butler cafes, ikemen idols, woman-only events and BL-only doujinshi shops galore (the female-oriented Mandarake branch in Nakano Broadway, for example, is at least five times larger as the male counterpart!).

Glad to hear that you don't support censorship!

Thanks for the translation...

that sure was a big and good letter, hopefully it will shut cnn up.

This CNN report is only another excuse for discrimination japanese people without knowing anything about our culture .

Ok, not knowing is no crime but ignorance is - they dont wanna even UNDERSTAND so they judge after their morality :(

Tolerance would be good - but they still stuck in 1941 ..these baka !

First, thanks for the excellent translation. I was always looking for a different POV to CNN's report on the matter. I always knew the said report was one-sided...

Second, interesting comment you have there from Nanashi-san.

That image was created by the media!

This holds universally true when it comes to these things.

@Nanashi-san
That image was created by the media!

Oh, I love that sentence. Perhaps this is another case wherein the media just exaggerates anything just to get ratings.

They almost certain do it every time. Big TV news is about rating, are you living with your head in the clouds or what?

It's nice to finally see a longer counterargument against CNN's most definitely biased piece. I feel like CNN calling out Japan on hentai/eroge is pretty damn hypocritical to say the least. Though I do suppose it's easier to make a news story out of "HEY -- LOOK HOW DEPRAVED ____ CULTURE IS" than pointing out the problems America already knows it has and doesn't feel like addressing let alone fixing.

I'm personally on the fence about eroge and the like, but there really should be a pretty obvious boundary between reality and fiction that any sane/rational individual would notice. Also -- for one of the follow-up pieces by CNN, the very psychologist they brought on to talk (for the lack of a better phrase) "kicked their asses". She pretty much pointed out that this stuff probably wouldn't have really caught anyone's interest and would've disappeared had they not brought the story to national attention.

Good translation, thanks, but you meant to say "live your life of sin" in that Biblical quote.

I do agree, CNN is going overboard. They seem to have nothing else of worth to report nowadays perhaps.

Actually, the quote is "leave your life of sin." Jesus is not telling her to continue in her sinning, nor is he condoning her life choices. He is, however, pointing out the hypocrisy of those who want to stone the woman. Jewish law prohibited anyone from testifying in court who had recently committed a sin. These men were not without sin and they knew, so they had no legal standing to testify to the woman's sin.

The ironic thing is that Jesus was without sin and therefore could have legally and morally condemned the woman, but he chose not to do so out of mercy. He did, though, tell her to go and sin no more.

"... so they had no legal standing to testify to the woman's sin"
now, tha's a whole new viewpoint for this text. Thanks for that dude.

Solid translation. Mostly solid message. Really disappointing/depressing CNN news story.

Well, I can see there was thought put behind the haste of the letter. not bad. everyone's input is ost wonderful too. this is very interesting. well, I must also point out my auto fill for my computer was nanashi-san unusual since this is my first ime being here. well thnaks for posting this letter.

Where the hell was this guy when this Rapelay controversy was still brewing over a year ago?

I think that CNN was being unfair to Japan and awfully offensive. It's as if they forgot that america has one of the biggest porn industries out there, but because it's Japan and is not Americas' definition of "porn" then for them it's a sin. Also, because it's America, Hentai is a horrible word, because porn in America is never reachable to children! /sarcasm.

As a British fan of some forms of Japanese popular culture (films, games, idols, music) I feel very saddened by the often continuous western criticism of Japan. I live in a country where I can't even walk the streets and feel safe. I don't think the west has the right to take the moral high ground considering the many pressing problems most western countries face. I don't believe rape is a good subject for a computer game but at the same time I also don't believe America, the country with legalised guns, the country that produces more porn than any other, the country that produces very violent computer games but has problems stopping shootings in schools, has any right to judge. They should be sorting out their own problems first.

I have seen this kind of thing before with America. It's a cheap story. Criticise another country in the hope of cementing a more solid belief in the culture of your own country from your citizens. It's very much xenophobia pretending to be balanced news reporting.

So does this mean England can't criticize America? They have huge problems too, so surely they cannot talk. Can China not speak of Japan? China has issues. Everyone should stick to their own then, right? No news outlet can dare report on another nation until their nation fix their own problems?

I don't understand why everyone else can make reports on the US (which I have no problem with, I think other nations SHOULD criticize other nations) - but how DARE America point out very real problems with another nation?

Has Japan never written an article on how awful violence in America is? I doubt it.

Depends on the context and importance. However taking the moral high ground by reporting on something that basically won't impact on even 00000000.1% of Americans does seem cynical. World news stories generally are stories that impact on the world in some way. They have more importance than this story. Certainly if you're going to do a news story on whether there's a need for censorship in computer games (or censorship in any other media for that matter) a news channel could do far worse than to actually cover an area that actively affects it's viewers or at least one that affects many people in the world. Otherwise what's the point of covering the story?

Something that pretty much only affects Japan is for the Japanese people to deal with. It's not for an American news channel and it's viewers to sort out when they don't even understand Japanese culture. Now I'm not saying I do and I'm not even defending this game as personally I don't see the appeal at all but if a British station had done this story I'd have said exactly the same thing. We should spend our time sorting out our own problems or maybe trying to do something constructive in the world.

This is basically a cheap news story.

I feel it's important to point out that "CNN" and "Americans" are not synonyms. CNN reporters are Americans, but not all Americans buy into their crap. There are a lot of us that recognize and despise this kind of hysterical journalism. I agree that the story was cheap at best and damaging at worst. I want it to be made clear, though, that it is unacceptable and infuriating to see how often people in other countries stereotype all of us because of what one news source says. I mean come on. I didn't read your post and think "All British love to stereotype people." A lot of your points are valid, but I just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of Americans who feel exactly the same way you do about CNN.

I know that it's not all Americans that have those kind of attitudes. I never meant to imply that it is and I apologise if it seemed that I was. I know enough Americans online who are perfectly reasonable, sane human beings. However I have seen other news stories in the past from American stations that also take the lowest common denominator approach on Japan. Mock outrage designed to appeal to the most knee-jerk reactionary in society. It's pretty much what a lot of British newspapers do with their news stories (looking at the British press dealing with subjects like immigration is a fine lesson in mass hysteria, very little in the way of objectivity and even less in the way of hard facts). If this story had come from a British station I'd have said exactly the same thing. I was really talking about the practice of the American media trying to rouse the 'general public' against another country for reasons that really seem little more than cementing a 'them and us' belief. Lowest common denominator patriotism. Something I'm sure most countries suffer from in one way or another. In any country there'll be an eager audience waiting to listen to how bad other countries are. All just to feel better about ones own country. Again I don't mean all American media do this, but some. After all you don't just have CNN you also have Fox. To have one such quality news network could be called careless, to have two...

Criticize what? How are rape games "a real problem", if there is no link between them and actual crimes of the same name?

In most US-made GAMES, the protagonist, i.e. the character controlled by the player, commits hundreds, even thousands of homicides and other killings. There is no link between the games and actual crimes there either, so should we say that these US-made games are "a real problem" ?

This might sound stupid....but isn't the west just acting jealous? No offense or anything meant btw...
Just saying....
*goes back into the shadows*

It could be. Though, I'm not familiar with Japan, its crime rates, poverty levels, etc but maybe the west is jealous. They seem to be pretty peaceful...(Japan that is)

A fact of the matter is that japan has quite an inequality between the sexes, not necessarily by law but by the values of society of old still existing in the minds of the people(Really can we expect such a patriarchal society to change overnight? No we cannot). I think all it takes is some time and valid opposition to the real issues such as working out out the social differences for both men and women like making sure they have the same wages for the same job and giving women proper maternity leaves and such etc, not manufacturing outrage at non-issues that actually has no real impact on anything except make Americans feel better about themselves by being able to scapegoat others to avoid looking at their own problems "How disgusting, how can the Japanese allow such outrageous things?".

Every time i read a newspaper article like this my first response is to laugh at their foolishness, then i realize millions of people could possibly believe this bile and i get angry. The journalism of old needs to die so we can get something fresh and non corrupt.

DAMN! He slammed them! What a retort.

Was this letter sent to CNN?
It should be.

Very well said by Takeshi Nogami.

As for the CNN report and those behind trying to stir paranoia and controversy... aren't there more pressing issues for the US and the world to deal with? Like war, drugs, poverty, the environment, employment, health,...

Are there sex crimes and related issues in Japan that deserve to be looked at and dealt with? Certainly so! But this type of action by CNN will not help. Treat the disease and not the symptom! Guide and nurture all people everywhere so that they do not descend into violence, poverty, illness,...

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One word to describe this: PWN.
I don't like hentai (more of a yaoi person myself) but I like this argument he made. The thing about our streets not being safe made me laugh, not because it's not true, but because it kind of is true. I live in L.A and just a few days ago we had a shooting around here. I don't think CNN has a right to insult Japan...like at all.

To make it short: CNN has been PWND

LaughingLionlol - Hentai is "porn/erotic", it doesn't mean "straight," as you seem to imply. So yes, your yaoi is probably hentai, especially if you like Boku no Pico. Just thought you'd like to learn something today.

Will people please remember that it was a report done by CNN and not America. Please don't mix up a reporting agency's viewpoint and words with that of an entire nation.

And why is religion even being brought up in this? If you look at that part please remember that Christianity is only one of MANY religions in the US. And there are many who have no religious beliefs whatsoever.

But I will say that the translation was done well and effectively gets the point of the response across.

And just something I want to add about legalized guns in the US. You still have to acquire a licence to carry a weapon legally. Just wanted to note that....the real problem stems from illegal weapons.

With all respect to Nogami-san, his argument is cogent, intelligent, insightful -- and only marginally relevant to the CNN article. In fact, his response only supports that criticism of Japanese culture.

The point is not which society has the lower crime rate. There are many reasons for the difference in violent crime between cultures, and it's a specious argument to suggest that the reason there's comparatively little rape in Japan is because rapists can read hentai instead -- that rational adult wanna-be rapists can use Rapelay to displace their repressed sexual aggressions.

Instead we would suggest these people seek treatment instead of validation. From the American perspective there can be no argument, that a "game" where the sole purpose is simulated sexual assault and rape is a vile perversion and has no valid place in a civilized culture. Not as education, not as displacement, and certainly not as entertainment. Any opinion to the contrary -- that the game actually has a valid purpose -- only proves there are too many in Japan, too tolerant of atrocity, to be considered "civilized".

Hey Japan -- how about next you make a game in which the player enslaves, rapes, and beheads Nanking Chinese people, and see how that plays out in the international community?

I take it you're completely unaware of just how popular rape roleplay fantasies are for both men and women, even in America and other Western nations. Rape games are just a way to indulging those fantasies for when you don't have a roleplay partner.

Agreed, Nanashi, however - I do think there's a real problem with the rape culture in Japan.

My problem often with Japanese porn is that it doesn't often make the real distinction between fantasy and consent - which is a rape fantasy - and real rape. In Rapelay you can zoom up on the tears of a child as you rape her. That shouldn't be a fantasy. Period.

I've watched plenty of Japanese porn where a guy in genuine pain cries and begs for the other person to start, and they don't. I've never witnessed that in legitimate porn coming out of any other nation, including the US. If someone is in pain, you stop. If someone says 'no', you stop. The fact that this ISN'T the case in a very realistic, non faked manner - is worrying to me.

Agreed, Nanashi, however - I do think there's a real problem with the rape culture in Japan.

My problem often with Japanese porn is that it doesn't often make the real distinction between fantasy and consent - which is a rape fantasy - and real rape. In Rapelay you can zoom up on the tears of a child as you rape her. That shouldn't be a fantasy. Period.

I've watched plenty of Japanese porn where a guy in genuine pain cries and begs for the other person to start, and they don't. I've never witnessed that in legitimate porn coming out of any other nation, including the US. If someone is in pain, you stop. If someone says 'no', you stop. The fact that this ISN'T the case in a very realistic, non faked manner - is worrying to me.

Um, you do know about the usage of "keywords" in rape roleplay fantasy? This is very, very basic knowledge for all BDSM and rape fantasy porn (honestly, you don't seem to be as familiar with even legitimate porn as you say you are). Because part of the fantasy involves screaming and saying 'no', partners and porn actors use pre-chosen "keywords" to let the other person and film crew know when to stop (usually distinctly unusual out-of-context words, like "armageddon").

Sorry, "safewords", not "keywords". To stop the action, you say the "safeword".

Hi Kayla. I just wanted to say that while there are many things I find disturbing that someone, somewhere is surely fantasizing about happily, I would be very offended if you told me not to have a particular fantasy.

What goes on in someone's head isn't hurting anyone until it translates into action. I have non-sexual fantasies, like the one where I slap idiotic customers at the retail outlet where I work until they acquire some common sense. But I will never actually commit that assault. Similarly, I think any adult with rape fantasies should be able to not commit sexual assault. If they want to play them out with images - drawn images, mind you, which cannot possibly be assaulted on account of their unreal nature - why can't we just live and let live?

Have you ever PLAYED Rapelay? Before making "points" about it (such as "You can zoom in on a child's tears as you rape her"), you should try playing it. I don't remember tears. I do remember being disturbed by the first sex scene because of the appearance of the first girl, but - it's just a game. A game where the girls you rape end up LIKING IT, which is NOT REALISTIC AT ALL. This is something that Japan is, somehow, mature enough to understand, but not the majority of religious US nuts.

Secondly - no, there is no "real pain" in Japanese porn, unless we're talking about the ball-kicking fetish. You sound like you need to learn the difference between real and fake. Japanese porn is all acting. However, I've seen extremely, extremely violent porn come out of the US. Try looking up Throat Pokers, and go through all the porn companies they have under the deepthroating section. You'll see guys literally slapping, choking, gagging women, enough to MAKE THEM PUKE, and then they have sex with them, while they're covered in bile and semen. This is not something that I've seen from Japanese porn. Most Japanese live action porn I've seen is very happy, very cute, very squeaky, or just fun.

And, you know what? Porn actors/actresses have safewords. I doubt the actor was in real pain.

Oh, forgot to mention... I'm a woman. Yep, a woman that likes playing H-games. :)

Yes, I've played it. There are various pick-and-choose scenarios, you prob didn't get to that scene yet. Doesn't seem entirely relevant though, since "I do remember being disturbed by the first sex scene because of the appearance of the first girl" does kind of say something, and the discomfort prob means it's something to be explored rather than shrugged off.

Also, the "plot" involves a man getting revenge on a woman by raping her, after she had the audacity to go to the police after he groped her. A very real situation in Japan. This is not so much about sexual roleplay, there are very definite undertones of real revenge fantasy and misogyny.

It sounds like there are indeed themes and reflections of misogyny in society through the game, this I must say I quite abhor. Though, even the worst of hate speech I don't think should be made illegal.

There is also some horribly misogynistic grindcore out there that much like hearing and seeing much of the content of some pornography, I felt sick after doing nothing more than reading the names of the song titles. There are countless and countless of songs that are about beating, killing, raping, torturing, and otherwise doing harm to women like it's funny of just. And it just makes me sick.

But I will never agree that this should be illegal. Neither should extremely racist RAC music. I believe that Freedom of Speech is absolute.

Actually, I beat the game.

It doesn't sound to me that you played it, in fact it sounds to me like you either read a walkthrough or an article on it.

Someone who's played the game would realize - it's just a game. It's FAKE. But you have problems telling the difference between a FAKE game and the reality in the REAL world. Which is pretty pathetic, to be honest.

No, I did not shrug off my feelings for the girls in the game - but I realize that IT'S FAKE. I shouldn't have feelings over a FAKE girl who DOES NOT FEEL PAIN. It's there in the game to prove a point. That point is that this game is over the top, but there's nothing that different between this game and other 3D h-games I've played.

And, wtf? Plot? Who plays h-games for the plot? Seriously. But here in reality - that situation could happen *anywhere*, and is probably more likely to happen here in the US, where people can't tell the difference between GTA and a real car hijacking, than in Japan.

this ^

From a non-american viewpoint, there can be no argument that a "game" where the sole purpose is simulated murder is a vile perversion and has no valid place in a civilized cuture. Not as education, not as displacement, and certainly not as entertainment. Any opinion to the contrary only proves there are too many in USA, too tolerant of this atrocity, to be considered "civilized".

So CNN is saying 1 game that involves rape influences a whole country to turn into raping maniacs?
Does that mean GTA will influence everyone in America to go out and kill hookers and deal drugs? Does it also cause everyone that plays it to become gangsters? CNN why don't you do an article on GTA while you're at it and blame the crime rates and drugs on this 1 game

I do like the quote of Christ. I thin the main teaching of the law through Christ is that you use the law to judge YOURSELF and not others, that judging others is God's job not yours.

First-time visitor and long time Japan resident here. Please excuse this lengthy post.

Thanks for the translation work. The CNN piece is a problem, and this is a very interesting response. I agree strongly with Nogami’s overall point. However I have a few issues with this paragraph:

"Men and women are equals in politics and in the law. Your society and ours are no different there. [. . . ] Furthermore, in our Akihabara and Ikebukuro, there is no persecution of men or women alike, or of sexual minorities like homosexuals. We all live together in peace, expressing ourselves freely."

This passage is very misleading and cripples what is otherwise a valuable argument. Men and women are absolutely not treated as equals in Japan. I’m not going to say that’s wrong for Japan or to tell Japanese people to change that--managing a culture is the responsibility of the people who live there, and most of the men and women in Japan accept and proactively support various forms of sexual discrimination--but objectively speaking, there is no real-life equality between sexes (or sexual orientations) here, and Nogami is incorrect to suggest that there is. To be literal, there is some equality “in the law,” but Japan has a lot of laws that are wonderful in theory and yet are not enforced at all by the police or respected by the public (especially laws regarding sex crimes, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, etc).

Having lived in Japan for years, I absolutely do fear for my safety when I walk the streets of Tokyo and especially Ikebukuro, a district that is decorated with open bags of trash, feces, and rats, with roads full of wandering drunks, desperate homeless men, gangs of aggressive youths, prostitutes, frustrated gamblers who just lost lots of money... Other parts of Tokyo may come closer to fitting Nogami's fictional description of peaceful Tokyo life, but Ikebukuro is one of the worst examples he could have come up with.

And is Tokyo safer than certain parts of New York? Maybe it is. However I have never been spat upon, randomly kicked or elbowed, verbally assaulted, hit by a bicycle, hit by a car, or had my belongings stolen or vandalized while walking on the streets of Chicago or Detroit. In America, I have never seen a fist fight or a one-sided physical or sexual assault in a busy public (!) area that was not stopped quickly by the police or even by civilian onlookers. In the areas of Tokyo that I visit frequently (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Ueno...), one or more of the above is at least a weekly occurrence.

I am a regular consumer of legal forms of erotic publications and adult videos that are about adults and made by and for consenting adults. I often shop in adult stores in Tokyo and I have a fairly good idea of what kinds of things are available to Japanese consumers. I would hardly say the choices on the shelves of Japanese adult stores reflect an overall freedom of expression. As we know, Japanese porn is heavily visually censored, but it is also very hard to find materials that do not cater to certain limited flavors of heterosexual fetishes.

Incidentally when I do go to Ikebukuro it is usually to hang out in places where "sexual minorities like homosexuals" gather, which are strictly segregated and are hidden in the shadows, figuratively and literally. Freedom of expression is protected very well in Japan for those who are male, straight, relatively financially stable, and on the right or near the center politically. Otherwise, the rule is don’t ask, don’t tell.

When Nogami mentions “appropriate age restrictions” in stores I get the feeling he’s never been in a Japanese convenience store too.

To be sure, the CNN article is awful. It's exaggerated and unfair. The U.S. media isn't in a position to dictate what kind of fantasies Japanese citizens are allowed to have. Japan is responsible for creating and enforcing laws that are appropriate to Japan. If there is a problem with this, residents of Japan should decide and do something about it themselves. The game company already responded to criticisms a long time ago. CNN has no right to judge. I agree with Nogami when he writes, "Naturally, that is not to say that our society is without problems, but to be honest, I frankly do not think that you are the ones to tell us."

I don't wish to judge Japan either. I choose to live here, I like the country, I know the rules (as different as they are from the laws) and I know how to enjoy the city and live safely from day to day. In some ways it is very different from other places and that is fine. However, biased country-vs-country judgments are one reason the CNN article is so bad to begin with, so it seems hypocritical for Nogami to rely on a similar logic.

If Nogami wants to shed light on this debate about adult media and video games in Japan, he shouldn't be spreading a fantasy image of a wonderful free and egalitarian world that simply does not exist. If he wants Western media to drop its stereotypes about Japanese citizens being perverts, he must first drop his own stereotypes about Japanese citizens and Japanese life and show us that he too is capable of distinguishing fiction from reality.

Again, I don't think he meant to say that Japan at large is an egalitarian society that embraces sexual minorities and makes no *de facto* difference between men and women.

He specifically referred to the otaku hideouts out there, which do indeed cater to men and women alike (women outnumber men in events like Comiket by a significant margin, for instance). On the other hand, while pornographic manga/anime/doujinshi/games featuring homosexual relationships of both sexes are available in large numbers, you can certainly make a case that, by and large, they aren't primarily meant for a gay and lesbian audience. That said, quite a few of my gay friends enjoy their yaoi. (And yuri is mostly intended for women, which alone makes it closer to lesbian entertainment than the vast majority of Western girl-on-girl porn).

As for Tokyo not being that safe, I live here as well, I hang around Ikebukuro at least once a week, and your descriptions are so far removed from my experience that I have to wonder if we're talking about the same country.

"I don't think he meant to say that Japan at large is an egalitarian society that embraces sexual minorities and makes no *de facto* difference between men and women."

He does state that "In Japan's Akihabara and Ikebukuro, men, women, and sexual minorities like gays are never ever persecuted." This is just pure fiction and it doesn't help his case.

"As for Tokyo not being that safe, I live here as well, I hang around Ikebukuro at least once a week, and your descriptions are so far removed from my experience that I have to wonder if we're talking about the same country."

Well I'm glad you've been that lucky. Then again most of the people I know who have lived here all their lives have talked themselves into believing Tokyo is the safest city in the world too, even the ones who have been randomly attacked by gangs, raped in bars, persecuted by the police for no good reason, or hospitalized by hit-and-run drunk bike riders. I suppose part of that is due to the propaganda they hear on TV every day about other regions--how every child in the U.S. carries a gun to school or how people in Britain beat each other to death for sport for example. Sounds a little like the approach the CNN article takes toward Japan, doesn't it?

Realistically though, this city is nowhere near as safe and peaceful as Japanese and international stereotypes say it is. In fact it is quite hazardous. I always have to watch my back when walking around Tokyo, especially places like Ikebukuro, Nakano, and Akihabara. Nogami asks if we have ever "experienced fear for your physical safety" walking around Ikebukuro or Akihabara. The answer is absolutely YES.

"As for Tokyo not being that safe, I live here as well, I hang around Ikebukuro at least once a week, and your descriptions are so far removed from my experience that I have to wonder if we're talking about the same country."

Wow, you are either very lucky or totally in denial. Ikebukuro is definitely a scary place, and I agree with the other poster's description of it much more than yours.

Ok, let me be more positive. Ikebukuro being a scary place is simply counterfactual. Many of my friends live there, and I have never heard the place described as dangerous in the slightest bit. Kabukichō sure, Roppongi sometimes because of the gaijin drunkards, Shin-Okubo occasionally, but Ikebukuro? That's ridiculous. The scariest thing I've ever seen there was a van of uyoku nutcases spouting their usual nonsense about Takeshima (and that's not very scary).

Ah, then you've just been very lucky. Roppongi may be scary because of drunken gaijin, but Ikebukuro is scary because of drunken angry salary men and gangs of kids. Also, I don't know if you are a man or a woman, but gender definitely has something to do with how scary Ikebukuro is as well.

Again, not counter-factual at all. It's reality. I don't know any other way to put it, but I guess you're not going to see what you don't want to see... I have (Japanese) friends who lived in Ikebukuro too, and they always complained about feeling threatened by the constant presence of organized crime. Kabukicho may be a close second, and I won't say I feel safe there, but it's brighter and always crowded. Shin-Okubo gets a lot of flack from racist Japan residents who don't like the strong Korean presence. It's dirty and cluttered, for sure, but it's cleaner than Kabukicho and it's still not as creepy or as dirty as Ikebukuro. The answer to Nogami's question regarding Ikebukuro is still a resounding yes.

It's interesting that you guys are having this argument. I don't live in Tokyo, but I have visited several times, and have many friends that live there, or in surrounding places like Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba. More than once have I made plans to hang out with single, female friends in Tokyo, only to have them suggest that we go to Kabuki-cho or elsewhere in Shinjuku because it's fun, and it's where they always hang out. One of those friends said the worst that ever happened to her as she walked, alone, in Kabukicho was guys asking her if she wanted to be in porn. I never felt endangered in Akihabara, or Roppongi, or anywhere else. I've spent entire nights out in Shinjuku ni-chome, come back to the hotel or whereever I was staying at 2 or 3am and never have a I felt like my life was in danger.

Also, I found it funny that someone above mentioned all these things that they saw in Ikebukuro all the time (public fights, getting hit by bicycles, etc) but that they never felt like they weren't safe in Chicago...um, I live in Chicago, and SOMEHOW this person clearly missed the fact that people are getting shot and killed all the time in Chicago (particularly on the south side), and fights and annoying people that don't know how to ride bicycles are VERY common.

"And is Tokyo safer than certain parts of New York? Maybe it is. However I have never been spat upon, randomly kicked or elbowed, verbally assaulted, hit by a bicycle, hit by a car, or had my belongings stolen or vandalized while walking on the streets of Chicago or Detroit. In America, I have never seen a fist fight or a one-sided physical or sexual assault in a busy public (!) area that was not stopped quickly by the police or even by civilian onlookers. In the areas of Tokyo that I visit frequently (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Ueno...), one or more of the above is at least a weekly occurrence."

I call Bullshit. I live in Chicago and have friends from New York. I even live on the North side of Chicago, which in general is one of the nicer parts. You've never been randomly kicked or elbowed? Clearly you've never ridden a bus, train, or ever walked downtown before. You've never been verbally assaulted? Clearly you were never around people in Chicago. You've never been hit by a bicycle or car? LOL that's just funny, because that happens in every city where there are cars, and has nothing to do with Chicago, where it sure does happen. You've never had your belongings stolen or vandalized while walking the Chicago streets? Well, me neither, but we're the lucky ones. My female friend was recently mugged and punched in the face while walking home on the streets. Last year, my muscular male friend was robbed at knifepoint. This summer my short Chinese-American friend was mugged by 3 men. Last summer it was a very big deal on the news that even in Lincoln Park, one of the city's nicer areas, there was a group of men that was going around mugging people on the streets several times a week. While I haven't seen fist fights that often, I've sure seen them. In fact, when I was a senior in high school, we were on our way to school for our choir concert and we saw a fight in the middle of the street (where one person was using a crowbar), and then a car came and ran over one the guys, and the other person ran and got in the car and drove away!

And the crime rate in Detroit is supposedly higher, with the people I know in Michigan stating that downtown is the only "good" area.

Way to be super disconnected with reality and prove you know nothing about Chicago.

Also some of my female friends in Chiba go to Shinjuku (specifically Kabukicho) on a regular basis, often ALONE and claim to never have seen any of the things you just mentioned.

Thanks for the reality check.

See... There's really something wrong with the world when something as obscure as this can be brought to the light in order to crucify a nation. This kind of political agenda really harps on the notion that people aren't as ready to accept one another as one would like to assume.

There is one thing that I would mention... it is that telling people not to do something usually doesn't work like we would hope that it would. We can tell people not to make these things and not to do these things but they will do it anyway because people are of their own free will governed by the invisible rules that lay strewn about them.

My stand on the matter is that CNN was wrong for making this article from the start. I believe that the response helps to cover the person's tracks but I remember hearing that people get their ideas and style out there in the manga business through H-Games and the like. I could be wrong, though... >_>; ...

As a nation, we can't take credit for what some select few, narrow-minded, ignorant individuals see as a relevant issue. Honestly, I didn't think that the creator needed to post a response for it... it's really thoughtful that he did take the time on any account. I'm all about getting antsy and fighting a good fight but this isn't one of those! There are a multitude of important things that CNN can focus on (and hopefully will...) than a game that can no longer be bought off the shelves in another country. No one's perfect and no one's innocent... so let it go and move on. All this does is give a black eye to those in America who are, in hindsight, otaku as well. It isn't right to those individuals to be scrutinized for the musings of a reporter who was probably really desperate for a story.

Over time... this will come to pass as well... but we shouldn't use this moment to sling mud at each other's homelands. All that leads to is war and despair...

From the American perspective there can be no argument, that a "game" where the sole purpose is simulated sexual assault and rape is a vile perversion and has no valid place in a civilized culture. Not as education, not as displacement, and certainly not as entertainment. Any opinion to the contrary -- that the game actually has a valid purpose -- only proves there are too many in Japan, too tolerant of atrocity, to be considered "civilized".

From YOUR perspective. Not "the American" perspective. Yours.

I'm an American. You don't speak for me.

Would you also say that a "game" where the sole purpose is simulated violence and criminal activity (including rape) has no place? You'll have to pry my GTA from my cold dead hands. How about movies, for that matter? Or books? Censorship is a slippery slope, and remember, the government that has the power to censor those things you don't like also has the power to censor the things you do like.

I'm a law-abiding, decent, civilized person. I've never even gotten a traffic ticket, and I'm almost to the age when the AARP will start annoying me with junk mail. Yet I play violent video games. I look at porn, occasionally including hentai. And tentacles.

And have I mentioned that I'm a woman?

Ha! I smell some serious BS here -- I doubt you are either American or female. There's no way you can be technologically connected enough to post online, and not understand the unique oddities of American feminism, unless you were otherwise disconnected from what goes on this country every day.

For the record -- Americans (in the collective) are mostly fine with gratuitous crime and violence in video games (although GTA is borderline and is ostensibly only sold to adults). We are not fine with gratuitous sex and definitely not fine with abusive sex. Or perhaps you're not connected enough to American media to remember the furor when GTA was pulled from Wal-Mart for including hidden scenes of simulated consensual sex?

Anyway, it's not about you and your chosen perversions. If you are truly an American, I suggest you argue your point at your next AARP meeting and see if the other seniors don't hide their grandkids and ban you for life.

"For the record -- Americans (in the collective) are mostly fine with gratuitous crime and violence in video games (although GTA is borderline and is ostensibly only sold to adults). We are not fine with gratuitous sex and definitely not fine with abusive sex. Or perhaps you're not connected enough to American media to remember the furor when GTA was pulled from Wal-Mart for including hidden scenes of simulated consensual sex?"

Um... is that something you really want to say about Americans? That we're ok with violence, but not gratuitous sex or abusive sex?

I suppose that's one way to be civilized...
Also, perhaps you are very disconnected from this niche of American culture. The fact is that the so-called "hidden scenes of simulated consensual sex" was a line of code that was not playable unless you hacked the game. Yes, you had to go in, download a crack, a computer code that reprograms the game to unlock that scene, not the drug, to actually play it. In other words, kids would not have played it. It wasn't meant to be played or unlockable.

Want to know another reason why kids would not have played this sex scene? Because they didn't know about it until the media made a huge hoopla about it.

Let's talk about other games that have done similar things but have not received the same kind of media attention.

God of War, all the iterations, allowed the player to play a mini-sex game that involves, you guessed it, sex.

Mass Effect allows you to build romantic relationships with other in game characters that leads to, albeit it was artistically done, sex.

Plenty of games introduce large amounts gore and violence. Plenty of movies do the same.

You talk about being a true American yet you don't clearly define it. So what does it mean to be a true american?

Well, it's also not unheard of that Japanese sex crime statistics are most likely incredibly low.

To use an example, China estimates they have about 100,000 autistic individuals - real estimates are probably closer to a million. Whether or not this is about under-reporting from affected individuals, the governments or a lack of understanding or diagnosis - the point is, their numbers are shockingly low for what we KNOW reality is.

Japan ranks stunningly low on women's rights for developed nations consistently. They are ranked 101 on the 2009 The Global Gender Gap report ( for comparison US-31, Canada-29, UK-15, FR-20, Iceland-1, Mexico-98, Vietnam-71) . With such a gap, is it REALLY unheard of that women might not even be aware of or are ashamed to report sexual problems? Most people I know who have been groped in the Japanese train system - which is sexual harassment, btw - have never reported such a thing even in the busiest New York train stations. Or if they have, with none of the frequency that you hear in Japan. THAT is a problem.

Is America perfect? No. Is Japan perfect? No. I seem to recall many articles from everywhere from France to, yes, Japan - slinging mud on American policies. Now Japan is freaking out because they dare point out one of their own?

Japan DOES have real problems and definitely needs to crack down on their adult industry. No, not all hentai is dangerous, most isn't, but the fact that child pornography possession isn't even illegal in Japan? That's a problem, and it's time Japan man up instead of pointing fingers and going; "Oh yeah, we'll you're violent!"

Like Japan doesn't have it's problems with violence either, pft.

Japan isn't like China. The West has lots of free access to their society and has been studying them inside and out for a long time. If a huge silent rape epidemic actually existed, they couldn't hide it. I'm not saying that their official rape statistics are 100% accurate, but if you don't have some measure of trust in their low crime rate after all this time, then you're quite frankly delving into the realms of paranoid conspiracy theory.
As for child pornography, the major reason why possession of child pornography is still legal in Japan is because right now, the Japanese legal definition of child pornography is very, very broad, to the point of including images that merely "could be considered" sexual. Much stricter than most Western nations. So actually making possession illegal would end up criminalizing millions of innocent people. This poses a quandry: Japanese politicians won't make possession illegal unless the definition is narrowed to a more sane scope, but the people pushing to criminalize possession also are against narrowing the definition. The bottom section of this page has more detailed info: http://www.translativearts.com/nonexist01.html

Japan doesn't have any niggers or wetbacks to commit crime like Americans do...

I think it's more likely to be a lack of people like you.

Ice burn.

[...] for the Japanese perspective on this CNN jingoistic manhunt, in this article an actual Japanese person, a hentai artists no less, responds on what I consider to be a most [...]

I must have missed that part in the Bible where Jesus said "all mankind are hentai."

Well, he did say that just having lustful thoughts counted as sin, and that all mankind are sinners...

Although, I'm pretty sure the Bible does state that if the future of humankind depends on you having children with your father it's ok, as long as you get him drunk first so his sperm won't know what they're doing.

gotta love the old testament. There's seriously a passage in Leviticus that says that if two men are in a fight to the death, and one man's wife tries to save her husband by grabbing the other man by "his secret places" then it's okay for that man to cut off her hand. Guess there was a serious issue with to-the-death ball-grabbing back then.

[...] A few days ago, mangaka Nogami Takeshi responded to CNN’s RapeLay coverage. Posting originally in Japanese, our friends over at tsurupeta kindly translated his words into English. [...]

I wonder though how many Japanese women don't report sexual assaults and such because of cultural pressure? How many women have been groped on the train for instance?

Not enough to make the official statistics worthless. You'd need several orders of magnitude of inaccuracy, and in this case that's just astronomically unrealistic. Such a level of deception isn't possible by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, especially since Japan isn't some impenetrable mystery nation or third-world dictatorship.

While I'm sure you are right for unreported rapes, I think sexual assault number are much much lower than the reported rates. Every single woman I've talked to about the issue of gender equality has mentioned being assaulted (usually multiple times), and so far I haven't met one that went the police about it.

Yes, I realize my opinion is just based on heresay, but I hear similar stories when I talk to other people that have lived in Japan for a while. Couple that with the fact that I know there's a lot of social pressure not to report these crimes, and I don't feel so unjustified believing my own experiences over "official" statistics.

Also, to those that mention Japan doesn't have a reason to "cover up" these statistics like China does... Well let's just say they certainly pride themselves on being one of the safest countries in the world...

I've asked many women this question and the answer is always that "most of us" have been groped on the train (or otherwise sexually assaulted in public) at some point in their lives. I am certain that most of these cases go unreported, but I think more women feel safe to report sexual assault now than, say, 10 years ago because the government has been expanding efforts to re-educate the public to the fact that grabbing somebody else's crotch on a train is actually a crime.

In partial response, train companies have started using more women-only train cars during rush hours. These have actually been around since the early 1900s, I think, but as a strategy it's kind of a joke. The response to sexual segregation should not be MORE sexual segregation. All these trains do is sweep the problem under the rug when the public instead needs education and enforcement. There is in fact a lot of criticism against women-only train cars by women in Japan.

This whole situation clearly displays how xenophobic most of us in the US really are. Japan (from what I've heard, read, or observed from Japanese friends) has a MUCH more advanced sex culture. While we're still wiling away the hours on our fainting couches trying really hard not to get a case of the vapors after hearing about BDSM, the Japanese have an unique sex-positive culture. You don't always do kinky things or think kinky things because you're a horrible depraved person. You are just human, and sexuality shouldn't be repressed.

This DOES include rape fantasies. And yes, there are psychopaths who might be inspired by such a game to go act out their fantasies, but in recent studies (http://www.physorg.com/news187448961.html to name one) we find that allowing access to fantasizing about various kink reduces the incidents of sex crimes....

So, maybe its time we wake up here in the US and start teaching a healthy sexuality to our kids instead of all this abstinence only crap. Sexual repression is the mother of sexual violence, not art or video games.

Just a little note about this "allowing access to fantasizing about various kink reduces the incidents of sex crimes...."

There are also many cases where the opposite is true (though they don't want to post this for certain reasons). In these cases it actually encourages people to do them.

Not siding one way or the other on the issue......just thought it should be mentioned.

"Japan (from what I've heard, read, or observed from Japanese friends) has a MUCH more advanced sex culture."

Some Americans tend to think so, but usually those are people who don't speak or read the language and have never spent any significant time in the country.

It's a myth. It's a stereotype. Sex culture in Japan is not "sex positive" or "kinky." In fact it is very, very restricted. It is free and open only for those consumers who fit certain limited characteristics and who want to enjoy certain kinds of sexual activities (adult males who want to pay to sleep with underage schoolgirls, for example). Tell me where you can find a popular, sex-positive, non-discriminatory sex discussion radio show/podcast like Dan Savage in Japan. You can't! Overall, sexual representation, sexual activities, and sexual discourse is very restricted in Japan. Even the sex ed in Japanese schools is a joke.

National and cultural generalizations aren't very helpful for this debate. If you start there, you're going to end up repeating CNN's work. There are reasons why the culture is different in Japan. We have to accept that we can't simply judge another country by the same criteria.

When one tries to stop a form of self-expression, they are trying to achieve hermeneutic advantage and thus assume control over the subject and the person. They feel their point-of-view and words are the most important and refuse to allow others to contradict them or allow self-expression to exist.

When one refuses to realize that their words have no meaning, then they instantly become worthless.

Understand?

A few simple and meaningless words organized in a fashion in an attempt to bring peace to a very discouraged world.

I have to wonder what in the world he means by "And would it be too much to ask that appropriate age restrictions are put in place in stores in your country so that the rational adults can buy legitimate copies?"

Does the author not live in Japan?

Because I do, and I can say for a fact, that porn is everywhere. It is in the convenience stores, same level as every other magazine. Right next to the children's comics. They aren't even covered up. Along with their porn videos, that you can buy out of vending machines.

There is also porn video-games and manga you can buy in vending machines, and there is no where to verify age.

Oddly enough, in places like America and England, these things are behind covers and you have to prove that you are an adult before you can even look at them, let alone buy them.

So not entirely sure where the author is thinking when he wrote this. Other places do have age restrictions, Japan "does" but it is I haven't seen it enforced.

Having pornography out openly in Japan doesn't mean Japan doesn't enforce their +18 law for adult material. I have also seen many stores not in Japan but also in Hong Kong and Europe that openly display to the public and potentially children's eyes.

Does that mean little kids buy them or browse through them? Maybe American and British kids might be curious because it's a rare sight as you mentioned that porn are covered up the US and UK, but it seems to me for such a society that has this openly, children just don't care. There is no harm done. Young kids are more interested in games and toys rather than naked women.

As for young people that might be interested, they are already hitting puberty and in their teens, probably. At this stage they would be interested and although they are not allowed to browse +18 material, it is only natural that they would try.

During my months spent in Hong Kong, there was a small sex shop and adult comic store next to video game and hobby stores. I frequented the area almost daily and never saw a kid go in or even look through the window intently. I only saw older people go in.

Just because Japan doesn't hide their pornographic material like America, doesn't mean they aren't enforcing it. Maybe you should hang around a 7-11 or Lawson and see if a kid picks up a pornographic magazine.

Why would you pay anything more than lip service to CNN? Its the media's job to blow everything out of perportion and I guess stories about regular porn got boring...

On behalf of my countrymen, I am sorry so many people are prudes and seem to be interested in running everyone else's lives. I am an American, and I will tell you that a sizeable bit of our politics is run via hysteria. I often state that my country is run by a hysteriocracy. Think of it as a form of trolling meant to gather votes, and in the case of the media, ratings.

I apologize deeply for the stupidity of our news media. There is a good reason that more of my countrymen have started gathering their news abroad rather than here. I would love nothing more than to throw all the media moguls out and start from scratch. These days, the best journalists we have are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, followed by Jim Lehrer (The former two being comedians, the latter being a public broadcaster).

And that is just sad.

Sounds much like the UK. The depressing thing is how many people are fed by it.

It's really the same mostly everywhere, I think.

Germany is just that bad in that regard.

I simply see all this hubbub as a blatant attack against Japan, one in a recently growing line of attacks. The dolphin story, the Toyota troubles, now digging up old news. It's all an obvious attempt at turning people against a country which we do large amounts of import business with in an attempt to get US consumers to "buy local." The sheople will fall for it, and will attempt to buy products that don't say "Made in Japan," while those of us who know better will continue to follow our normal buying habits. It's media bias influenced by governmental pressure.

Move along... nothing to see here.

Actually it sounds more like someone trying to pass on their own personal opinions on things and making a name from a quick story at the same time.

I don't see any signs of political motivations or involvement. Just a story done by a reporter at CNN.

Nothing more.
Nothing less.

And people please stop trying to use this to create a stereotype of Americans. The large scale news media actually tend to be the minority in matters.

I'm American myself. And I rarely have the same opinions as media such as CNN. The same also goes for almost everyone I know.

sorry dude you fail.

no one should defend a rape-fantasy game. its disgusting and has no place in civilized life ANYWHERE!

I always find it interesting that those who defend the rights of free speech and expression and don't jump onto bandwagons are often the ones with proper spelling and grammar in their posts, whereas those who thoughtlessly bash tend to have much lower quality posts in both aspects. It makes me wonder if there's a correlation between intelligence, control of the English language and open-mindedness.

That being said, fantasy is fantasy and reality is reality. The problem is not the fantasy, the problem is people who cannot differentiate the two. Surely you are also one who is against games which contain any other illegal or immoral content such as violence, drug use, street racing and the like? Are you also against same-sex couples? Oh, sorry, that last one was probably below the belt.

I myself am an American, and I feel obligated to apologize for how utterly ridiculous and inept our media is. Their hate spew is a constant reminder of how a few fools can ruin an entire country's image and poison the minds of weaker individuals. I truly hope that Japan's views of ordinary American citizens are not harmed by articles such as this, and I genuinely hope that news agencies such as CNN fall to ruin as people become increasingly aware of their fear mongering mind games. This applies to other news sources, such as Fox and NBC, even as far as our newspaper publishers.

Keep speaking out against this ignorance; I hope one day America can wash away the filth that it is stained so badly by.

www.Tentaclegrape.com

FTW~

US comic books which have historically been targeted for boys & men, have much pervier horrible representations of women than 1/2 the hentai out there. Comics in Japan are read by both women & men. CNN doesn't know wtf its reporting on most of the time and this topic is no different.

i think its pathetic that anyone could defend this type of 'game'

what 'rational adult' plays a game thats a rape-fantasy game? all you're doing is encouraging the behavior. why enable rapists? do you hate women that much that you'd allow this type of game to come into creation when you know that it will enable rapists?

good job japan! i love anime and manga but crap like this is why i wont visit your country til you clean your act up!

Woah woah woah, I think lots of people on this planet have rape fantasies and I don't think that giving a person a reasonable outlet for the sadism or whatever is 'enabling rapists'.

I really don't like this type of thing, and I do think there are some negative aspects. I don't think it's going to encourage and create more rape, but I do think the fact that maledom in all forms in normalized and there there is a large market for this sort of thing while even the slightest forms of female domination is thrown into the extreme niche of "femdom".

I don't think people here are especially defending maledom, but defending it's legality.

"do you hate women that much that you'd allow this type of game to come into creation when you know that it will enable rapists?"

What, you mean that same way Call of Duty "enables" spree shooters?

Guess we should get rid of that World of Warcraft before people start running around casting spells on each other...

Japan doesn't want people with your IQ in it, anyways.

I play h-games. I'm a woman. I'm also NOT A RAPIST. Yes, I enjoy Rapelay, but I also enjoy cute h-games, such as PurePure, Wanko to Kurasou, Tokimeki Memorial. I'm not going to randomly go out and rape someone just because I raped several girls in a naughty game. In fact, it probably means I'll be LESS likely to rape, because I can just rape girls in a game and I get better results than in real life (in real life I get arrested, beaten, and put in prison for 3 years - in the h-games, I get a bunch of cute girls that love me and they might even suggest to have a threesome with me and their boyfriend - hot dog! I TOTALLY would prefer the prison - not).

How about instead of bitching about people playing a game in the privacy of their own home, you learn the difference between real life and fantasy - something those of us who play these games already know.

lets hope they dont and you stay under the rock you live then huh :) no one wants you here in japan anyway! your a muppet.

i bet your having a rape fantasy right now as we speak lol

Duuuude. I'm not against hentai, but Nogami sure is being an asshat about it all.

"Furthermore, in our Akihabara and Ikebukuro, there is no persecution of men or women alike, or of sexual minorities like homosexuals. We all live together in peace, expressing ourselves freely."

Yeah, um, no. Just because you're not chasing them around with pitchforks doesn't mean you're not discriminating. Let's face it, Japanese mentality as a whole is not terribly empowering, and ecchi games just reflect the state of society.

"Well, we are their successors. We make works of art."

Also no. The difference between porn and erotica has been widely debated and while porn can be an awesome and fun thing, it is most definitely not art, the same way McDonald's is not nouvelle cuisine.

Let me restate that: demonizing manga and hentai is WRONG. The suggestion to enforce age limits, control and regulations on the market is obviously correct. But Nogami's reasoning has some serious fallacies and his angry-fanboyish, entitled tone isn't gonna help anyone.

The difference between pornography and erotica has indeed been widely debated, and the end result is that nobody knows how to tell them apart, except on entirely arbitrary grounds (in the words of gay erotica novelist John Preston, the only difference is that erotica is the stuff bought by rich people). I don't mean to argue that Rapelay is art (very likely not), but if you think no art comes out of the Japanese hentai industry, you're simply ignorant.

It's all about cultural diversity and differences.

I think the responses to CNNs report have gotten way out of hand on this.
They didn't take that much into account.

But please remember everyone, not everything in existence is art.
Just a statement by me......not siding one way or the other in the matter.

At least some of the earlier mis-associated issues made earlier are starting to die down.

And hopefully this entire issue will die down soon since it is escalating from beyond it's origin.

Take spice and wolf for example,

To be honest it really is about how each person views it differently, especially with sad "obscenity" laws in gaijin countries.

Art is the arrangement of elements(such as paint or pencil on paper or canvas)

According to Oxford "Fine Art" is a form of art intended primarily or solely for it's aesthetic content.
By the definition, most porn is also fine art. Because people derive sexual arousal from aesthetic pleasure of a certain kind.

Pornography is basically a near perfect to perfect synonym for Erotica. The words are indeed basically the same. Here is the Oxford on Porn:

pornography

• noun printed or visual material intended to stimulate sexual excitement.

Sexual arousal for those who seek it an aesthetic form, such as pictures and drawings of naked human beings or such, are doing nothing more than seeking aesthetic content. And which in humans, aesthetic content alone can bring sexual pleasure.

Now this doesn't necessarily make Rapelay fine art, because part of the arousal is the situation, the situation of dominance/rape fantasy. What I'm addressing here is nothing more than your claim that pornography is not art. And by the definitions it seems pretty clear that not only much of pornography can be considered art, but that some of it can be considered fine art. In fact, it sounds like the daily heading of someone into gelbooru or danbooru for naked pictures of anime women or men for masturbatory material is taking quite the venture into fine art appreciation.

I know, those crazy Japanese cartoons and their big eyes and small noses, even naked human depictions and even as for the expressed purpose of sexual arousal, crazy stuff. It goes against "common sense", that is, the common perception of what is art and what is lo-brow and what is sinful, but it is what is true.

Common sense is frequently incorrect. And porn is art.

Eat your words american media. Please look at your own country's problems first before critcising others.

CNN isn't "American Media", it's "International Media".

If you try place blame on America for this, then you should be placing the blame on the International community as a whole, which is just plain idiocy.

Will people PLEASE stop confusing an International Reporting Agency with America's opinion.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/7046296/Edlington-attacker-watched-porn-...

For those who think children should be allowed to watch porn, or play violent sex games.

I find both the CNN report extremely biased toward the conserative right, but Mr. Nogami's response biased toward the liberal left just as extreme. CNN is a global news agency looking to spice up a slow news day, and Mr. Nogami is a hentai author who makes his money making and selling it. Hardly surprising to read his rant, when he could not say anything else. What's that saying about people who live in glass houses? Jesus may have saved that adulterous woman's bacon, but he didn't then say "carry on as usual". No, he said "sin no more". Adultery isn't just a married woman have sex with people other than her husband. It's also any sexual deviation in thought, word, or deed in anyway. (I'm speaking spirituality here, now legallity.) That is considered a "sin" and that will include playing games like Rapelay. So bringing up to date the lesson of the stoning of the woman in the Bible. Jesus said " Nor do I judge you either. Go and play that game no more." or "Mr Nogami, nor do I judge you either. Go and create hentai no more." ^_^
BTW Hentai simply means "perverted".

Thanks for this useful contribution. Your first sentence alone is an example of a strawman, a fallacy of accident, a red herring and, potentially, a Bayesian fallacy. All at once.

Actually I think his statement is quite well and am of the same personal opinion--but let's not drag that into this.

Children shouldn't be allowed to watch porn and such simply because they're young and as such tend to not have the experience in life to understand things very well.

Children have a tendency many times to imitate actions they witness. That's why "controversial" subjects and things along these nature should be controlled until they are ready. Children are heavily influenced by what they experience because they haven't experienced much yet.

This doesn't mean something like "all porn in the world should never be allowed and is always wrong". It just means that there should be some measure of control over these things. It should never be easily available to everyone. That basically means adults can, children can't. It's the same as certain things such as alcohol.

Good. You got the reason why this statement was a strawman: nobody argues that “children should be allowed to watch porn, or play violent sex games,” at all. One down, three to go.

I think Hentai is filthy and shouldn't exist, but it's one those things that you can't really do anything about because it doesn't cause enough harm for the masses to care. And I know Japan has different points of view than America, so there's really nothing that can be done about such a thing as RapeLay. But still I think you ought to question the morality and purity of this kind of content, and whether it's really helping or hurting society.

I'm curious about the bible quote he used. The moral of the quote seems to be that everyone should recognize their own sins and try to become a better person rather than pointing out others sins.

There has been a trend recently for people to use quotes like this as a means of saying "Shut up and go away".

I'm an atheist, I find myself at odds with Christians when discussing the bible quite often about the intent or meaning of a passage. I think this one is pretty clear cut, Jesus is not condoning or condemning the sins of the woman or the gathered crowd. He is saying to all, "Go now and leave your life of sin".

Yes not only does it say that, but the quote tells us not to judge others for being sinful, because we are all sinful. God is perfect and without sin, so only he can judge us righteously. And yet Jesus shows his grace, because he himself did not cast a stone at her, even though he was the only one qualified to do so. Instead, he shows forgiveness, and tells her to not to sin anymore.

It's a great similarity to this whole CNN report, unfortunately some Japanese are going to continue to sin by reading Hentai and playing rape games...oh well like Aoki said you can't do squat about it.

It's a shame(And extremely sad to a former Christian) that the Christians are always the first to throw stones. And always the most guilty(See decades, and most likely centuries, of rape against women and children). But as silly, and hateful as the witch hunt on hentai in America is, I understand why soccer-moms are upset. They have just forgotten how to mind their own f**king business. The need to make sure the world is overly safe for the social retards they are harvesting for their own happiness, and satisfaction. But back to the matter at hand. I applaud the Japanese gentleman for sticking up for his occupation, his art, and his culture. Kudos to you, Takeshi Nogami. I think rape games are horrible, and would not bother with them. But, freedom is, leaps and bounds, more important than my opinion. I think any true American would be forced to agree.

I think everyone needs to take a step back, breath, and calm down.

This is going all over the place and getting off topic.

Remember......this is not from an issue between America and Japan, or religions clashing against each other.

It's a reporter from CNN giving a story from their opinion/perspective (same thing).
It's not Americans giving their views on how a society should behave.
It's not Christianity stating how a society should behave.

So quit dragging uninvolved parties into this.
I'm seeing way to many posts flaming Americans, flaming Japanese, and flaming religions. There is no Government, Society, Nation or Religion at fault in this so please stop acting as if there is.

This is all from a reporter at CNN and a response from a mangaka.
Nothing more.
If people want to blame someone for the remark in the report.....
BLAME CNN AND THE REPORTER

If you want to blame others then fine.....blame the people actually involved.
I'm American and played no part in this whatsoever. You blame American society and you're blaming me as well. So people please remember these things when you post and try to actually get along.

日本、怒った?

CNN is intrnational news not US so that means not just US but internaionly as in Europe too should be concerned that this pornographic contetnt is available on the itnernet for our children to see. Plus this guy is stupid for saying that normal peopoe can just readf Hentai and paly raping games because that could turn a normal person into a psychopathic criminal. You start out fine but then get addicted to it and soon enough you go and do it to a realife woman. Just because Japanese crime rates are lo doesn't mean it's okay to do, seriously what does that say about a person who thinks it's okay and enjoys to play rape simulaters? I bet you those poeple woould never admit it in public or announce that they play those games, because they know it gives them a bad light. They might do it over the internet but that's only because they don't have to directly confront people.

This is one of those things like smoking, it does nothing good for you or the world and you realy shouldn't be doing it, but becaus there are so many addictions of it they do not ban it.

I've perused my share of hentai and violent games for years, and I a happy to say that I haven't developed a desire to murder, rape or torture my fellow human being.

The same can be said of my circle of friends - we like our porn, but none of us would ever want to actually hurt a fellow human being

So tell me, where do you get off conjuring up this crazy assertion that porn leads to real violence, when surveys hint that the opposite may actually be the case?

http://www.slate.com/id/2152487/

As for CNN's credibility, it's not exactly the most accurate news agency out there at the moment - I'd give that credit to Al Jazeera and BBC, and they know better than to dive into sensationalist bullshit like covering h-games.

Mistake #1: This guy thinks there is a vast audience of rational adults for which this game is intended.

Mistake #2: This guy believes in a vastness of rational adults.

or vice versa.

Either way, BWAAA HAHA HA HA.

Did anyone else see a parallel between this and K1's "What's wrong with being a pervert" speech?

[...] tsurupeta.info] var addthis_language = 'en'; AKPC_IDS += "631,";Popularity: unranked [...]

@mt-i
I don't mean to clutch at straws, but allow me to direct you further up the thread at the title "So what if children can see it". ~_^

Allow me to point out that seeing covers of porn magazines in convenience stores is not exactly the same thing as buying them and perusing the contents.

Perhaps you would be right if the covers weren't so explicit. Sure, they may not show any genitals, but if there's one thing Japanese adult content has taught us it's that you don't need nudity to be pornographic.

"I am afraid I am Buddhist, not Christian, but I respect your Lord nonetheless. His word that you, me and all mankind are hentai is pregnant with meaning. Yet, there is a difference between “His” views (that you share) and mine"

The people at CNN do not share the veiws of Jesus. These people condem people for being free of the fear of jugment (people such as yourself), and accept only those who subscribe to their narrow minded veiws. Trust me when I say that they will find some way to use your letter to support their argument.

they don't know anything for hentai manga or game. They only see sex and crime sex, because they country so much crime. So report of CNN don't have any value. I don't care what they said.

This is the crime statistics by country.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_percap-crime-rapes-per-capita

and the statistics of child sexual abuse in Japan

http://kodomo.s58.xrea.com/grape.htm

[...] Nogami Takeshi pens open letter to CNN lambasting reporter Kyung Lah for Rapelay coverage. [...]

This is an interesting article, and all the responses made on this article are also interesting.

I've played my share of H games, not much, but I have played them.
They can be fun, and a good stress reliever. Yes we all know rape is bad, but games like these are popular in Japan because its a great stress reliever for them. I mean come on, there are a lot of cases of suicide in Japan because they are a serious people when it comes to work and they always try to do their best. A game like Rapelay, like many other adult games, are used to vent out the stress and frustration they have had through out the day. Like Mr. Takeshi said, the game is meant to be bought by Rational Adults. This game was never made to encourage rape, I don't think any of the games developers have intended this game to be a cause for Men to rape Women. The Japanese are a smart people, and if they knew something like this would cause rape incidents to increase then I bet they would have never created such a game. But then this is their nationality and nation, they know more about it than we will ever do, so who are we to say that we should ban an entire nations product because we do not agree with it. All this is just a work of fiction, its a fantasy, no more, no less. And the fact that CNN humiliated an entire countries culture over this is wrong.

No Country in the world has the authority to change or condemn another countries culture, because if they do that, they condemn the people as well, and that my friends is I think even worse than rape.

Let us not forget that this CNN story was a creation of reporter Kyung Lah. Her stories portray Korean interest more often in a positive light, and Japanese interest in the poor. Her proclaimed "...connection with Korea [being] very important", speaks to this bias.

    Stories on Korea contributed to, or done by Kyung Lah
  • Eye on South Korea (A series of stories)

Do you see a pattern here? As a writer myself, most people aren't aware on a conscious level the use of words, and language, to portray subjects in different manners. Kyung Lah is blunt in her assertions, and does not even try to hide her bias, like this quote from her follow up, "Why would 'RapeLay' thrive in Japan'?"

It is terribly easy to condemn Japan as a sexist and repressed culture with a government that chooses to look the other way. Part of that would be true...

Many of her stories done on Japan have foreboding themes, and sarcastic undertones, portraying Japan as a seedy back alley sex club. Japanese men are shown to be sex crazed, misogynistic perverts, whose exploits are so extreme they throw Japanese women into the arms of foreign men,(White Man Cafe). In the Savoie case (Father in Japan: 'I didn't do anything wrong'), she took a personal matter and made it an international issue, when the case was already settled and a non issue.

Perhaps I have been reading too many detective novels, or writing too much dystopic fiction, but when I watch Kyung Lah's stories about Japan, I can not help but think I am watching a show like NBC's, "How To Catch A Predator", or CNBC'S Original's, "Child Sex Slaves in Cambodia".

And as a christian, which Ms. Kyung Lah is, she should eat crow, and follow the quote Nogami Takeshi sited. This especially applies to a woman who was fired from her job at KNBC for having an affair with her boss, while still married.

If you believe Jesus forgave you of your sin, Ms. Kyung Lah, the exact sin the woman commited in (John 8:1–11), this does not give you justification for throwing your own stones.

While I appreciate that it can be useful to shed light on a journalist's biases, I feel that your closing paragraphs are difficult to condone. Casting aspersions and resorting to ad hominem doesn't make our side shine. As far as I'm concerned, firing someone for such private matters is a badge of shame on the employer, not the employee.

Perhaps my choice of words were not the more glamorous, but I have this annoying habit of hating hypocrisy. This is the one thing that drives me over the edge. It's why i don't write non-fiction or do journalist pieces. Ms. Kyung Lah had it coming, cheating on her husband. Most people don't see this as a big deal in today's world, until it happens to them. I wouldn't have cared who she had slept with, until she started throwing those stones of hers at glass house. Old cliche, I know, but it works.

Then again, this was an opinion piece, that i am not getting payed for, so you can forgive my brash ending.

While I generally agree that CNN's coverage has been pretty sensationalistic, has anyone actually read the article with the sociology expert that Nogami is replying to? The guy is a professor here in Japan, and none of his statements seem all that biased. They certainly do not imply "associate Japanese people at large with heinous criminals."

His main statements seem to be that Japan is a patriarchal society (true) and that Japan has a different set of sexual and gender values that leave it completely indecipherable to the West (also true, and actually part of Nogami's argument against Western intervention). I don't really see why Nogami is so incensed about the expert's statements...

[...] from tsurupeta.info who translated it from Nogami Takeshi’s [...]

You hit the nail in the coffin, Nogami. besides I think it shouldn't be Japan's business & not America's to be dealing with RapeLay and the reason perhaps is that either it is CNN or Fox News bringing a topic such as RapeLay is that they just want to stir some controversy & make a quick buck out of it without any proof of evidence presented.

And America has not said it is their business or that they want to get involved.

The last I checked, the USA is has a significantly larger land mass and population than the Island of Japan. So yeah, crimes and statistics would be unequal in comparison.

We do have one thing in common. Suppressing sexuality in its positive forms which causes it to spill out into it's negative form.

Empowering females in Japanese culture and women in general is not positive according to the Japanese friends I know, it is traditional misogynistic.

Don't be stupid. Crime statistics are per capita.

I would absolutely like more fine-grained statistics from all countries when it comes to crime rates, though.

Per capita can in some cases be pretty confusing, still.

'7.8 rapes per 10,000 people' can technically be as extreme as '15.6 rape victims per 10,000 women', or the exact inverse, depending on the circumstances.

Then there's problems with those statistics that are used for comparisons between countries being submitted by the countries themselves, sometimes made with vastly differing criteria, like one place qualifying any sort of physical sexual harassment as rape, while it might require vaginal insertion elsewhere. Or something.

I am very pleased with this letter and your translation, this also reassures my faith in humanity, please keep fighting and we will be there supporting you, freedom can not be freedom without freedom.....

I thought I should inform everyone here that CNN is actually running a poll here for "Should Japan ban sexually violent video games?" at the bottom of this page:
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/

I would suggest for everyone to choose NO to tell CNN to stop their harassment of Japanese culture. Just to warn you, I suspect someone's tampering with the poll by constantly voting YES, since it skyrocketed by 1000 votes in less than 40 minutes.

CNN are probably running this poll to create an excuse to harass the Japanese government, because they're want to look like American citizens are supporting them.

[...] all of this, which I am happy to discuss in the comments, but for now I wanted to direct people to an interesting open letter response by Manga artist Nogami Takeshi regarding the outrage espoused by CNN over this particular game and, taken to its logical outcomes, [...]

[...] alarmující zprávu CNN reagoval otevřeným dopisem jeden z hlavních představitelů manga komixů, Takeshi Nogami, ve kterém bránil svůj národ a [...]

Awesome, Nogami. Just awesome.

Mr. Takeshi Nogami,

Thank you for your clear views on a Japanese's perspective on this. I hope it will be heard.

The US and various of its organizations frequently have a quite twisted view on issues, such as a lot of Europeans and the rest of the world do not share - but if the US decides certain things, it may eventually affect us all. Spritually and economically, a lot of ideas from the US kind of, spill over to these other places.

It is thus great that you voice your opinion, together with us others who disagree. It does a little bit to help us preserve civil liberties we hold dear, including all sorts of purely fictional pornography scenarios and pornographic art. They simply hurt no one, so they should not be forbidden, but provided on the free market.

Regarding "The US and various of its organizations"

Please don't be associating CNN with the US.
As it has been stated multiple times CNN is an international news agency. It is an no way whatsoever a "US organization".

There's also a reason the Touhou-community refers to CNN as 'Cirno News Network' nowadays.

They're been fabricating one idiotic news article after the other, with contents that are frequently horribly (or not at all) researched, clearly biased, lack common sense, or are just plain downright stupid.

I think they're just trying to make one controversial big-impact headline after the other because they want people to pay attention to them, which has been directed towards them less and less.

Taking anything they say with more than a grain of salt seems advisable.

I fully agree with Mr. Nogami Takeshi. It's about time that media hype be tempered when they stretch too far for a good headline. It really bothers me that the whole situation is FOUR YEARS outdated and the story's only apparent purpose is to direct young children who WEREN'T EVER AWARE of the game's existence to google searches and illegal downloads.

We, as Americans, have -ZERO- room to talk about ethics and morality with the sheer volume of adult rated material we churn out every day. How is hentai separate from youPorn and erotic photographs?

It should be about limiting access to underage people, not about limiting expression.

hey what's wrong with CNN nowadays......???!!!!

i can see how unobjective they are.....

well....i love hentaim, too....but I didn't change into perverted human.......>.<

I have to separate between dream and reality....

DON'T JUDGE US LIKE PERVERT !!!!

[...] about Japanese culture. Nogami Takeshi, a Japanese artist who has himself created hentai artwork, penned an open letter to CNN. "Moreover, the crime rate statistics for both general crime and sex crime in Japan are, with [...]

[...] 12 April 2010 So CNN dragged RapeLay into the spotlight again, prompting a Manga creator, Nogami Takeshi, to respond with a defence of hentai games and their content. Translation here. [...]

[...] liking hentai and all. If you’re interested in the whole letter, you might want to drop by Tsurupeta for a full translation of the [...]

Nogami-San is right. I mean, America sells very graphic and violent video games, one where you can even eat people... do you see many people running out to eat people because they thought the game was just too cool for school? No. Cnn and the world needs to just let this go. Why? Because there is no big deal. It's fiction. It's hentail rape. Why don't you crybabies go read some books and you will find the exact same thing only in words instead of pictures. To me, it is the same, and to me again, there is no problem here. It's so great to be surrounded by hypocrites, isn't it?

I agree with a lot of the things said here and I would like to thank you for the translation as well - it was extraordinarily good English and read perfectly.

I agree that CNN is sensationalist - the media often is - if you want balanced news, then you're probably best looking towards the BBC. They had no right making the accusations that they did and going by the Bible quote - it is hypocritical for a country with a crime rate like the US to infer that what little crime goes on here (meaning Japan) is caused by video games.

However, it saddens me to say this, as an avid consumer of hentai of the most strange and wonderful types, but I cannot condemn the view entirely.

The Japanese woman who wrote in is absolutely correct - there is a healthy amount of sexual harassment towards women still in Japanese society. They are more or less equal, but there are far fewer women in positions of power and they are often paid significantly less in many professions. Face it - Japan is a sexist country. This is not something that can by denied, though actual rape crime is probably significantly lower in Japan than elsewhere.

According to CNN, the existence of rape themed games will turn people to rape women themselves. I am always against this view - petty video game blame for the sins of society. However, how about we turn it on its head. If you go the the Comiket East halls this July on day 3 and make a pie chart of the themes of the hentai manga you see there, over half I guarantee would be rape themed and of that, probably another half violent or non-consensual. Surely the thing to be worried about is the fact that over half of men fantasise about rape in the first place?

This is not new information - it's clear that when the chips are down and men have nothing to fear and no repercussions (eg. in war time), rape will abound. It's almost a natural instinct - you'd be hard pressed to find female soldiers who would freely rape men in that situation. So the point perhaps that CNN is missing is that men who fantasise about rape will buy rape themed games. NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.

I as well as anyone (especially being into the themes I am) know there is a barrier between fantasy and reality, but then I am a rational person and know that not 100% of the people in society are rational like me. Might playing these games and being steeped in piles of rape hentai and rape doujinshi make a less-than-rational-person more likely to commit rape crime? Probably. So then - why does Japan have lower rape levels than the US? Undoubtedly due to the undercurrent of guilt and honour that runs through every action a Japanese person takes in society - always thinking about others and always thinking about repercussions.

So what can we take home from all of this?

  1. Japan is sexist. Women get sexually harrassed, but probably not that much more than other countries. Live with it.
  2. Rape games aren't the problem. Rape games are the symptom of the inherent male condition that always fantasises about the power of being able to have sex with anyone and everyone.
  3. Rape will happen. Don't blame the video games, blame the offenders.

If anything, CNN should be doing a story about men and how we're all pieces of scum who if given the chance would sink their average sized cocks into any warm body within range...

Hmm...I didn't think I'd be man bashing within this comment. Just to let everyone know - I am on your side, but I think that there is always a danger of becoming biased in these things and not seeing the facts. Thank you Nanashi-san for taking another viewpoint - it was refreshing!

I kinda feel that I'm letting everyone down having this viewpoint!

yes. give this man a prize

I am a 24 years woman myself (thankfully, i do not live in USA) and i'm totally against that position of CNN and this idiotic woman society or whatever who started the mess in the first place.

Dear god, just how exactly DUMB someone need to be to believe that a GAME can make adults go out and rape someone? Oh yeah, of course video games are baaad, they make innocent people rapers, killers or worse - they made us to start the war with Iraq in the first place, that's what games do!

I insist that all kinds of hentai games - even the most perverted ones about raping - not only *should* exist out there, but really *must* be sold everywhere around the world. I'd really prefer to see some sick bastard sitting at home playing RapeLay than roaming the streets of my city looking for a real-life prey.

I'm an American and this letter represents my feelings on this whole matter truly.
I'm also an avid gamer myself. I've never commited any of the acts in these games other than use it to (sumtime?) to masterbate or release accumulated stress. I've played, watched, read, and listen to more *hentai* contents than what would be deem appropriate.(lol) but thats a personal hobby of mine. Don't like it? Sue me.

"Don't like it? Sue me."
That is the American way! Americans use the law to sue those they think they can make profit from, or a company they want to see bankrupt. Why not talk about it and make compromises? Why not be fair to other people?

US people got weird standards when it comes to law. Though, with most ideas behind the laws I have to agree, it's just they always take it a step to far, just a restriction more won't hurt.
It might be a bit extreme, but aren't they just like nazi Germany in the past. Can't they learn from history, from mistakes in the past? They both prohibited the use of something by a certain group of people. I suggest to that god-forgotten country of freedom, which likes to start wars, to start bombing the European counsel first, because next door to it is the Manneken Pis, Belgium famous landmark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis)!

[...] encouraged a bunch of eroge loving anti-American commies to come out of the woodwork to praise the open letter penned by Mr. Nogami Takeshi. Let me make this abundantly clear: I am American and probably of the least popular sort since I am [...]

that one is great,thanx.

That was something great to read.

[...] It also goes without saying that human trafficking and violence against women are serious crimes in Japan too. As a Japanese citizen, I am deeply offended by the insulting implications of that so-called expert who associates Japanese people at large with heinous criminals. Is hentai detrimental to the upbringing of children? Yes, it some circumstances it may well be the case. It certainly true, for instance, of that game you reported about. I am an average citizen with a younger sister and two nephews; I can relate to your concerns. And precisely as such, I beg to differ with your argument. Those products are developed for rational adults. You surely don’t believe that a rational adult would be influenced by such a game into committing rape, do you? — Takeshi Nogami [...]

The western stance on this game is pure bullshit.This game, as Takeshi-san said is for rational adults who are capable of distinguishing fictional material from reality.

Illusion, who developed this game, has a very strict policy about these games.
Their policy states that:
"
Dear customers in foreign countries,

We thank you for your interest in our software and sending many e-mails.
Unfortunately, under the company's regulation,our software are only available for domestic customers over 18 and not for sale in foreign countries.
Warranty and official support apply to the software purchased and performed in Japan,
and do not apply to those outside Japan
We hope you have an opportunity to purchase and perform our software in Japan."

You can surely understand this, can't you ?

I personally feel like teleporting to the houses of the people who caused all this ruckus and kicking them in their face.Folks, how about handling the problems in your own country first ?
This game was intended for domestic use in Japan, and not overseas.

Read the company's policy and stance before making such a shallow diagnosis.

Regards,
A fellow Otaku who is pissed of at all the coverage given by the west

This is another reason why I prefer BBC over CNN. American news stations tend to be exaggerative. (The translation of Mr. Nogami's letter was great!)

You will never understand how this hurts rape victims. You people will never understand. 私、日本人だ。犯された。このゲームは悪いよ。

I think my comment already got posted, but you have no idea how this hurts rape victims. You don't even care. No one cares about us. No one cares. I hope one day you are all raped like the people in these games are, that way you can see how much it hurts.

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